An atheist is a person who lacks a belief in god, or more traditionally, denies god’s existence. Either way, let’s assume two things: a) that this god sends you to hell if you’re wrong and b) that most atheists are not 100% certain in god not existing.
Now, suppose a belief in X can map to a credence in X between 0 and 1. Presumably, then, an atheist’s credence in the statement “God exists” may lie anywhere between 0 and a bit below 0.5.
Now, it is not hard to imagine, especially for an atheist who grew up with a religious upbringing, to have a higher fear of hell if his credence is 0.3 compared to another atheist whose credence is 0.05.
Given that any credence below 0.5 will presumably result in the person being an atheist, is it not then rational to de facto have a credence of 0? In other words, is it not rational for an atheist with a credence of 0.3 to take a leap of faith and practically have a credence of 0 instead, given that he will remain an atheist regardless? The overall status of being an atheist remains the same and yet the fear of a negative outcome can be significantly reduced.
Can this strategy be extended to any decision making process where being wrong results in a negative outcome?